That's kind of what I'm looking to do. It probably would be better if I could access the engine directly. Because I just wanted the ability to put in shapes and textures to make up areas and levels. Its just what to save it to and really how to even start that's a tough point for me. I can open a window that's win32 and initialize D3D in that window and start to create little buttons and menus its just I'll end up getting stuck right where I would be displaying anything really.
I know exactly what you are talking about. A good way i get around that is that the game engine evolves along with the editor, if there is something you are trying to do in the editor for example, let's say you want to be able to create basic shapes in the editor when you click an button for example. Then what i do in that case is go in the engine side and add several functions that does exactly that. So in the end your engine evolves along with your editor and they both goes hand in hand. That way you know whatever you seeing rendering the editor screens are coming straight from the engine calls. If you were able to see the screenshot of my editor that i posted, In my editor you can create four different viewport at the same time where each viewport share a single Render Context but have to have their own Device Context. So what i basically do is create a class on the engine side that allow me to have multiple windows share the same GL Ressource Context but with different Device Context.
That was probably the greatest replay. You could have posted code and it wouldn't have been as good as this. That makes a LOT of sense. I really didn't think about it that way.
Pretty much what I've taken from this is, (as you said) as I build my engine up build up the editor as well. If I want to make basic shapes, make a class in the engine that allows me to do so. (To me that means, enhance the classes i have / make a new one where when passed certain variables a shape will be made. (ie. clicking "square" passes parameters to make a square")) Pretty much that's my biggest issue. The only other issue i really have is setting up like save data and etc. Which still doesn't make any sense. Should I be saving it as a "yourlevel.lvl" or like a special format? I'm still looking up about how to load and save certain files for levels. My guess at this is that when I "save" all it's saving is the placement of the camera, blocks/objects, and lets say player starting area(in code). So when you are in the main game and you load that level its already setup. It's just a matter of loading it into the game. I'm still a little "eh" about that whole subject but hopefully it comes soon. Feel free to correct me if any of my previous statements were incorrect/need improved.
All of DirectX just seems like a bit much so far, I really do enjoy it however. It just feels like.. a lot of the "support" or community for it isn't here / they aren't sure about certain things. There are times that I think i'm asking in the wrong area / forum because of these questions. It is nice to find you (and a few others) who do understand DirectX and are actively using it however.